Caring for your pup is more than just hugs and cuddles (although we know how wonderful this part can be). It is also the more thorough care that needs to happen such as exams, vaccinations and parasite prevention. Here, our Seymour vets share some information about how often you should take a dog to the vet and what to expect during these visits.
How often should you take your dog to the vet?
Routine checkups and preventive care are crucial for the lifelong health of your dog.
Taking your dog to the vet on a regular basis allows your vet to monitor your pet's overall health, look for early signs of disease (when conditions are most easily treated), and recommend the best preventive products for your four-legged friend.
Our vets understand that you are concerned about the cost of bringing your dog in for a checkup when they seem healthy, but taking a proactive, preventive approach to your dog's care could save you the cost of expensive treatments down the road.
Pet Wellness Exams
Taking your dog to the vet for a routine exam is like taking your pup in for a physical. As with people, how often your pet should have a physical depends upon your dog's lifestyle, overall health, and age.
Annual wellness exams are typically recommended for healthy adult dogs, but puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with underlying health conditions benefit from more frequent examinations.
A Healthy Start For Puppies
If your canine companion is less than a year old then monthly visits to your vet are recommended.
During your pup's first year they are going to need several rounds of vaccinations to help keep them protected against common infectious diseases such as distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo, corona, rabies, and leptospirosis. These vaccines will be given to your puppy over the course of 16 weeks and will go a long way towards keeping your puppy healthy.
The exact timing of your young dog's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and your furry friend's overall health.
Between 6 - 12 months our vets recommend having your pooch spayed or neutered in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted puppies.
Routine Care For Adult Dogs
How often should you take a dog to the vet when they are a health y adult? If you have a healthy, active adult dog between 1 - 7 years old, yearly wellness exams are recommended.
During your adult dog's exam your vet will perform a head-to-tail examination of your pet to look for early signs of illness or other issues, such as tooth decay, joint pain or parasites.
Your veterinarian will also administer any necessary vaccines, discuss your dog's diet and nutritional needs, recommend appropriate parasite protection, and discuss any training or behavioral issues you may be experiencing.
If your veterinarian detects any signs of developing health issues your vet will discuss their findings with you and recommend next steps.
Preventive Care For Senior Dogs
Except for giant breeds, dogs are considered senior or geriatric when they are around 8 years old. Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards age faster than other breeds and require more frequent preventive care at a younger age, typically around 5 years of age.
When should I take my dog to the vet once they are a senior?
Since many canine diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older dogs we recommend taking your senior dog to the vet every 6 months. Twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your senior dog will include all of the checks and advice mentioned above, but with a few added diagnostic tests to provide extra insight into your pet's overall health.
Some diagnostic tests we recommend for our senior patients include blood tests and urinalysis to check for early signs of problems such as kidney disease or diabetes.
As age-related issues such as joint pain become more common, geriatric care for pets includes a more proactive approach to keeping your pet comfortable. If you have a senior dog, inquire with your veterinarian about how frequently you should bring your pet in for an examination.
Wellness Plans from Seymour Veterinary Hospital
Many veterinarians strive to make preventive care more affordable for their clients by offering Wellness Plans.
At Seymour Veterinary Hospital, we offer Wellness Plans for dogs of all sizes to help make your pup's routine annual care easier on your wallet. With our Wellness Plans, we bundle all the preventive services your pet needs to stay healthy including routine exams, vaccinations, parasite prevention and more. And then we give you a monthly payment plan to help you save money and manage your budget.
Ask your vet about a Wellness Plan for your pup.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.